CHICAGO — Brave Space Alliance today announced a new slate of online and mutual aid programming in response to the threat of COVID-19, and the accompanying lack of critical supplies for the community. The South Side LGBTQ Center is launching an online drop-in center to continue standard programming, and a crisis pantry to deliver food and supplies to those disproportionately impacted by the virus. The programming will include helping community members access the expanded benefits made available by the Illinois State Government in response to the Coronavirus.
Among the programming that will go completely online are Brave Space Alliance's innovative pop-up centers, which are usually held in Chicago Public Library branches across the South Side. To limit person-to-person exposure among the vulnerable populations that the organization services, Brave Space Alliance will be offering 30-minute appointment slots for members of the Black and Brown LGBTQ community on the South and West sides. These appointments can be used for assistance with applying for recently expanded unemployment insurance benefits, SNAP and Medicaid, public housing, and other offerings such as career services, and financial planning services. The organization will also be transitioning its support groups and regularly-scheduled mutual aid groups to an online platform.
Brave Space Alliance also announced a rapid-response crisis pantry, which will be collecting donations and compiling a list of those in need over the coming week. The will be co-run with Center on Halsted, to ensure that the most items can be distributed to individuals in need over the coming weeks. Community members in need should sign up here, with preference given to Black, Brown, Indigenous, elder, sick and/or quarantine impacted LGBTQ individuals, and those with children. Those interested in volunteering or making a donation to the crisis pantry should reach out to Brave Space Alliance through this form.
Brave Space Alliance leadership has stated that the organization is committed to continuing to serve its community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to provide the same high-quality, direct to community, for-us, by-us services that the organization has provided since its founding in early 2017. Brave Space Alliance recognizes that the community members that it serves are among those who will be most heavily impacted this pandemic, and wants every Black and Brown member of the South Side LGBTQ community to know that they are not forgotten, nor will they be left behind during these times.
Light & Love,
Executive Director of Brave Space Alliance
—From a press release